The chase is on for the greatest archaeological discovery of the 21st century.
Two thousand years ago, a greedy Persian general and his seneschal march through the dunes, leaving behind rivers of blood. Two millennia later, the dark side of NATO’s presence in Iraq pushes a local woman to flee into the night, clutching a golden vase to her chest.
Fast forward to today, where American archaeologist Diane Ryan discovers a mass grave in the hot sands of Syria. After calling English historian Geoff Symons for assistance with the dig, the two unearth an ancient clay plate.
Discover how the timeframes intertwine and how echoes of the past reach the present. In the end, who will reach the gold statue of God Marduk?
Professor Geoff Symons walked slowly towards the main building of the university, entirely spellbound by his thoughts. Raindrops rolled down the brolly under which he was sheltering. As his father always used to say before he passed away, “The weather in England is rainy until hard evidence proves the opposite”, and this day it wasn't even fit to send the cat out.
After a minute, the tall man in his mid-thirties reached the entrance. He gave the soaked brolly to the door man with a smile, and headed to the lecture hall at the end of the corridor on the first floor. Entering the spacious room, he looked at his watch and smiled. 14:14, exactly one minute till the beginning of his lecture. He looked around with approval and satisfaction; the study room was filled with over a hundred young men and women, all hungry for knowledge.
Professor Symons walked to the mahogany desk, nodding to several students who greeted him, left his bag on the chair, and when the big clock over his head showed 14:15 he switched on the microphone and with a captivating smile said. “Welcome, colleagues. I'm happy to see that the rain outside hasn't washed away your enthusiasm to be present for our first lecture of the second semester.” A giggle spread around the room. “So, who will remind us of the last thing we talked about before the holidays? Nikol?”
“Good day, Professor Symons” the black girl sitting on the second row answered. “Our last lecture was about the upsurge of the Persian Empire during the reign of Xerxes.”
“Thank you, Nikol. Absolutely right, as always.” He winked at her, then continued. ”So, colleagues, any questions about that particular part of ancient history?“
“Yes, Professor.” Came a voice from the first row.